England womens captain, Steph Houghton says shes eager to be playing Brazil facing a sell-out audience in the North East and will never forget how she started out there as a youngster, wearing oversize shirts, that was handed down from the guys team.
The Lionesses take on Saturday on Brazil, a negative they have beaten.
Thirty thousand tickets have been sold at Middlesbroughs Riverside Stadium. However, the side of Phil Neville are in need of a win, having gone four games.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Houghton stated:Clearly when the likes of me and Jill Scott started at Sunderland, we were 13 or 14 years old.
You had to pay to play with, #250 value of subs to perform Sunderland. You had hand me down kits in the mens side to perform , which has been large men.
Look, I have seen each side of this last 10 to 15 years and I wouldnt change it for the world. I think that it makes us the gamers. I think we are in a place now. I am able to say I am a footballer. Its my job.
But in exactly the identical time, I will never forget what we are in terms of how we got into the position. The future is actually bright for these young women coming through now, that are 16 or 17.
Got married last June to Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby.
Three weeks later he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), a condition which affects the mind and nervous system, resulting in muscular fatigue. Former Rangers captain, Fernando Ricksen, lost his battle to the illness a month, aged 43.
At Saturdays match, a donation agency will be open, with proceeds. The aim of the charity is to increase awareness, to help those suffering and to fund study.
It has been hard on a personal level, however I think with the foundation gives us something else to concentrate on, said Houghton.
I am attempting to concentrate on my soccer. I really like being here. My husband is actually supportive of it now I am supporting his foundation as far as I can.
The Lionesses match against Brazil are their first home game as the disappointment of the World Cup where they lost from the semi-final to the USA.
One of the most significant threats is likely to be Brazilian ahead, Marta, whos widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. She has won the FIFA player of the year on six occasions.
As a guardian, Houghton looks forward to playing :Those kinds of players may change games in a second. She is one of the kind of players.
She drives her team , whether that is her dribbling with the ball or a few of the tricks shes doing. She just adores the huge occasions so I have a massive regard for her and what shes done for the sport.
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